Scientists create 'mini-retina' in lab dish

2014-06-11 11:01
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - In another step towards reversing degenerative vision loss, scientists said on Tuesday they had coaxed stem cells into growing into a tiny, light-sensing retina in a lab dish.

The study is an important technical feat in using reprogrammed cells, whose discovery in 2006 has unleashed huge interest, they said.

"We have basically created a miniature human retina in a dish that not only has the architectural organisation of the retina but also has the ability to sense light," said Valeria Canto-Soler of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

The work is the latest advance towards the goal of creating transplant cells that reverse damage to the retina, the light-capturing surface on the back of the eyeball.

Stem cells are infant cells that develop, or differentiate, into the various tissues of the body.

Human tests needed

Until 2006, the big focus was on stem cells culled from early-stage embryos, which are highly versatile but also ethically controversial.

That changed with the discovery in Japan of so-called human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to return to a youthful, pre-differentiated state.

The latest research marshalls the iPS into the right architecture for the retina, ordering the complex layers of specific photoreceptor cells which absorb and process light.

More work is needed, though, to understand how these cells transmit signals to the brain.

Experiments in a lab dish, however remarkable, still need to be validated in tests on humans before they can be incorporated into medical practice.

"Is our lab retina capable of producing a visual signal that the brain can interpret into an image? Probably not, but this is a good start," Canto-Solder said in a press release.

Japan last year gave the green light for the world's first trial on humans of iPS cells for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which causes blindness in older people.

Six patients with AMD will be recruited in a four-year trial.

Read more on:    us  |  science
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 

17 photo illusions that look so real

What if they aren’t illusions? What if that dog really has a human foot – then what?

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.